An assault on roadless areas was recently launched in Congress. Riders attached to a federal spending bill would introduce logging and road-building to some of our national forests, undermining the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The Roadless Rule, one of the most popular land conservation measures in US history, protects most remote and wild parts of the National Forest System by prohibiting road construction, timber harvesting and other development, which provides habitat to wildlife and provide safe drinking water to millions of Americans, in addition to their primitive recreational value.
The particular riders discussed so far target two national forests in Alaska, the Tongass and the Chugach national forests, but if allowed to pass, could trigger additional forest-by-forest or state-by-state exemptions from this national conservation policy, leading to construction and logging in remote wild forest areas across the U.S., including in New Mexico's five National Forests, which contain 1,505,894 acres of inventoried roadless areas.
Congress will need to pass another short-term spending bill in the next few weeks, so now is a critical time for Senators to hear from their constituents that they oppose all efforts to open protected forest areas to logging and additional roads.
We will post updates as they become available